Chapter 3 Journal Activity
To what extent are archaeologists working in the shadow of Geoffrey of Monmouth?
In a sense current day archaeologists are working with the legacy of various archaic pronouncements that went before:
for example the stones may not come from Ireland but the Bluestones do come from Wales (Preseli Hills), and identifying their site of origin is ongoing? and therefore identifying the method and route of transportation-ongoing? So although not following in footsteps of G of M, understanding where they came from is a link or connection albeit small.
G of M's mentioning of "several carpenters and masons"... a thread is there, just in terms of understanding the engineering that went into it.
G of M doesn't actually tell us a great deal, apart from highlighting the fact the stonehenge exists.
In a nutshell the current (archaeological) thinking surely has to be about greater understanding of the Stonehenge monument in the context of its broader landscape ie taking into account Durrington Walls, Woodhenge, and many other prehistoric features in the area, as well as finds such as aurochs bones, the Amesbury Archer and many other things that are probably thrown up daily.
The previous visions of what Stonehenge was about, may muddy the water a bit, ie druidic temple of winds, and one has to be careful that myths don't become facts, without tangible evidence. That said, near me at Wittenham Clumps in South Oxfordshire, there is the raven poem about the raven that guards area, and a buried raven was actually found, in an iron-age burial context in 2003 when Time Team descended and worked alongside Oxford Archaeology. So maybe not all myth is storytelling.
I am not sure about the re-breeding of aurochs, are we tampering for the right reasons, or the wrong reasons? it is sad when any species dies out, but recreating it??? Not sure..